Silent transmission of the novel coronavirus could account for more than half of infections, according to one new mathematical model by U.S. and Canadian researchers.
The researchers utilized data on asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission from two different epidemiological studies and estimated that more than 50% of infections were attributable to people not exhibiting symptoms.
Since the study is based on a mathematical model, the 50% finding is an estimation based on probabilities and approximations, rather than a precise figure.
The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
A different study, published in June in the journal Nature, found that in one Italian town in which the majority of residents were tested for COVID-19 while the town was under a 14-day quarantine, approximately 40% of individuals who tested positive had no symptoms.